New Strategies to Cut Printing Waste and Spending

Bellevue College will take some important strides toward reducing the amount of paper waste we create and the dollars and time spent on printing starting next week.

Why Save Paper? Making paper harms the environment and is costly. Pulp and paper mills are among the worst polluters to air, water and land of any industry in the country and paper in the landfill releases greenhouse gases.  A  University of Cincinnati study showed that by offering their 34 pg. annual report electronically rather than on paper they could realize economic savings of $41,000, CO2 savings of 33,000 lbs and 79% fewer pollutants toxic to human health.

What’s new? Network printers will be configured to print duplex (doubled sided) prints by default, the College will no longer support costly inkjet printers and desktop printers will be limited to special circumstances and departments are being encouraged to move to network printers.  Read about other changes in printing practices across campus on the Information Resources website.

In addition, PaperCut, an application that creates a tally of how much a user has printed and displays that information to the user will soon be reach on all campus computers.  PaperCut launched on student computers Winter Quarter 2012, with some astounding results:  35 students had printed over 1,000 pages and the top 15 users printed an average of 2,372 each, while the average student printed closer to 110 pages during the quarter.  The ASG, watching the student technology funds deplete, took action and called for a cap of 300 free prints for students starting Fall quarter, the ability to petition for exemption, and 150 free prints starting Winter Quarter, with the option to pay for additional printing.

Faculty and Staff are vital to creating an environment that supports student success, consider some steps you can take:

  • Include student printing guidelines in your syllabus.
  • Provide a method to submit assignments electronically or if you or your students are planning to print materials, encourage double sided printing.
  • Avoid requiring students to turn in an assignment on singled sided paper.
  • Consider if you or your students require a printed copy or if an electronic copy will suffice.
  • Use print services and request duplex printing.
  • Consider electronic evaluations rather than the labor intensive paper version.
  • Encourage the use of discounted Netbook rentals from the BC Bookstore.
  • Read more tips on reducing paper.
  • Request to move to a networked printer – submit a Request Center ticket for assistance and an IR technician will follow up with you.

Resources from the Environmental Advisory Committee

  • Paper Reduction:  Why Save Paper / What You Can Do / Resources
  • Tips on reducing paper


Last Updated December 11, 2013